Travel Quote Tuesday | Curious About The World

“There are people who travel because they want to push themselves to physical limits, people who walk across deserts or cycle across the Antarctic – like Ranulph Fiennes, who just does it because it’s there. And then there are people like me, who are just genuinely curious about the world.” ~ Michael Palin

I am not an intrepid adventurer or an explorer of unmapped places. I don’t feel the need to be the first person to see a place. And I don’t have a need to distance myself from the ‘tourist’ label as some who like to consider themselves ‘travellers’ instead, as though it were a different thing, are wont to do.

It makes total sense to me that what I am curious about and want to see and experience and learn about, others will want to see and experience and learn about too! This doesn’t diminish my joy in visiting a place.

Of course, there are times when the crowds are unpleasant and detract from the experience, making it harder to appreciate a place’s attractions and culture, or to find genuine interactions with the people who live there.

But knowing I am not the first to thrill at the sight of the sun setting amongst the Torii gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha, or to be drawn to the detail of Portuguese azulejos (tiles) adorning buildings inside and out, or to giggle at the sheer freshness of scallops eaten fresh from the sea on an Iceland boat excursion, doesn’t make these things any less wonderful; not at all!

What about you? Are you a Ranulph Fiennes or a Michael Palin?

(c) Kavita Favelle - Michael Palin

The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s newer attractions, created in an abandoned china clay pit into a botanical wonderland. I loved this odd sculpture, part of a series exploring how industrial mechanisation has changed the face of agriculture.


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31 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | Curious About The World"

  1. Julien Mordret

    I would say that I am a bit of both! Curiosity is the base of everything. I never travel expecting anything about the place, I just want to know how it is, I am just curious to experience it, to improve my knowledge of the world.

    On the other hand, I believe we also travel to live extraordinary and rare experiences that few people live, or to little-known destinations to discover hidden gems that we can later share with other people.

    Reply
  2. Don

    Oh yes, it’s always good to know what other parts of the world are experiencing. We can learn and improve from there. Nice quote!

    Reply
  3. TheSterlingTraveler

    Excellent quote! However, I feel like I’m a bit of all of those. I travel because it’s there, because I want to learn and see and do everything there is. Looking forward to your next quote!

    Reply
  4. Sandy N Vyjay

    I would fall more into the second category. Curious to know, and eager for new experiences. Love to wake in the morning in a new place. The travel bug is indeed fatal and once bitten, it cast its spell for the entire life. Of course, a bit of thrill about pushing the limits of physical endurance is there but that is limited to normal hikes or treks.

    Reply
  5. RJ

    Yay! I couldnt agree more. For me traveling really helps a lot. I was able to discover my strengths and weaknesses and learn a lot from it. Im also curious and craving for a new venture in life that beyond my comfort zone. Love this article. <3

    Reply
  6. Maria Angelova

    So true. I wouldn’t mind having both. Sometimes I feel like testing my personal boundaries, while other times it’s all about going to a place that I’ve never been to, even if it’s not anything special.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I think the only boundaries I might push are how much I can walk around a city before my feet turn to raw meat and how much delicious local food I can eat before my belly explodes!

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  7. Fiona Maclean

    My lack of patience means I find the first two groups almost incomprehensible. Why would you travel to push yourself rather than to understand what you were seeing? And what a waste to do it just because. I’d rather be like you – in the third group who are genuinely curious about the world.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I don’t know that it’s a waste for them, because that’s where their joy lies, in that personal endurance and achievement. For me, I could never find joy in it, I just am so curious and delighted by and nosy about the world!!!

    Reply
  8. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    I don’t think there has to be a distinction. Curiosity and physical limits don’t have diverge. When you are living life on the edge, you can experience so much when you expand you mind and your boundaries.

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    kaveyeats

    For sure, that may be the case for many. For me, pushing the physical boundaries would not be a pleasurable experience, so I’m always fascinated by those who travel in that way. All valid, just different preferences!!

    Reply
  9. Dominic

    I travel for all of those reasons – my curiosity pushes my physical limits. Love Michael Palin – I still watch his older travel documentaries when they come on TV.

    Reply
  10. Hannah

    I’m definitely a Michael Palin. I don’t need to hike to extreme places just to say I’ve done it. If I only visit places that others have, it won’t deter me from taking my own experiences away from that… and seeing it through unique eyes – my eyes! I don’t understand those who choose to visit incredible places only to jump out of a tour bus, take 1 photo (or only ever take selfies), and leave… just to say they’ve ‘seen’ it. But then again, I don’t begrudge them for doing it… because if it makes them happy, who am I to judge.

    Reply
  11. Antonio

    Definitely Michael Palin! Traveling by itself is pushing your physical levels to the limits and beyond. The thing is that while you push your limits you will constantly be outside your comfort zone and you will learn so much about the world, culture, and perspectives on the go. I’m a curious person in nature and traveling made me more open-minded and understanding toward people and events.

    Reply
  12. anto

    A little bit of both! I love pushing myself but not all the time … but if I’d have to choose, I’d say Fiennes … I think haha

    Reply
  13. Mel and Marcus

    I (Mr W) would say I’m a bit of both, there are certain things I would such as a motorbike trip or an extreme rally although general curiosity about other places is my main motivation for travelling. I was hoping to try a space trip in my lifetime!

    Reply
  14. Indrani

    Bit of both but more of Michael Palin. For example… I don’t think I will ever want to do a difficult trek just to get to the top but may be if there is really something interesting I may want to do the trek. Great travel quote.

    Reply
  15. Himanshu

    I belong to – i do it because it is there.
    I want to experience everything around me.
    I started venturing out to Himalaya first it is adventurous and later only because it is there to explore.

    Reply
  16. Efthimis Kragaris

    I think that I’m closer to Palin. Always curious for the unknown. The fact that there so many different things to see and experience during a trip in a foreign country is so fascinating. Looking forward to my upcoming European Christmas adventure 🙂 What are your plans for the holidays?

    Reply
  17. Lara Dunning

    I think depending on where you travel it is a mix of both. I’m a curious person, but I do like to challenge myself, and sometimes traveling in itself can be a challenge.

    Reply
  18. amit

    As a long-term traveler myself, I can distinguish the difference between a tourist and a traveler. however in saying that I do like to do both. I like to see and experience the touristy places, the path well trodden but also like to go off and discover things that many people have not heard about. The label of tourist comes from somebody who visits a place to see a specific thing that in a lot of cases has become commercialized, whereas a traveler comes the visit the area rather than the specific, they integrate themselves into that society, experience it as a local person before moving on to pastures new or even staying there.

    Reply
  19. Jennifer

    I’m a bit of a combination of both Ranulph and Michael. I’ve done things, like trek mountains in Nepal, because they are there. And I also just go places because the more I see, the more curious I become about the rest of the world. I’m not sure it matters, really, why you go just so long as you do go. Travel breaks down our misconceptions and prejudices, and at the end of the day I think realizing other cultures are just the same as us is the biggest step toward a more harmonious world.

    Reply
  20. Elisa | World in Paris

    I totally understand your point of view but I feel that crowds are more and more unpleasant . Not only crowds are unpleasant for me as a tourist (or traveler) but locals also are annoyed by the crowds and make exchanges with locals more difficult

    Reply
  21. Megan Jerrard

    Really love this – I do get my thrills from a sense of exploration and have started prioritizing trips which the average person probably wouldn’t seek as they offer a greater sense of adventure knowing that not everyone in the world has been there before. But I do also have a passion just for experiencing the world, and if that means I’m a “tourist” sometimes, so be it. I don’t like the distinction between tourist and traveler because it seems to set a class between travelers – like we’re in high school clicques. No one travel style is “cooler” than another – if it fulfills your individual passions thats what you should pursue 🙂

    Reply
  22. melody pittman

    I would choose Michael Palin. I”m excited to learn more about everything I see and do in the world, but not trying to do it first or anything like that. Honestly, I can find something wonderful about each place I visit from the biggest attraction in the world to the smallest corner of the globe. It is all good!

    Reply

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